Our Blog

June 25, 2018

cbf 70th anniversary cakeHappy Anniversary

Today marks the 70th anniversary of The Chicago Bar Foundation. Since 1948, the CBF has been bringing Chicago’s legal community together to improve access to justice for people in need and make the legal system more fair and efficient for everyone.

You have been an indispensible part of that history and that success and should take pride in all the good work you have made possible. Together, we have provided enduring support for pro bono and legal aid in the Chicago area. We have addressed larger systemic issues like the explosion in unrepresented people in the courts. And we have advocated within the courts and at all levels of government for laws and policies that make the justice system more fair and accessible.

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June 20, 2018

A Fool for a Client? A New Agenda for Our Profession

Part 3 of a 4-part series

In my last post, I identified the ways that lawyers will continue to have an integral (though evolving) role in ensuring access to justice. Our profession has the urgent responsibility to better focus on those core functions to make our services more efficient, accessible, and affordable.

So how do we do that? Along with the continuous improvement and adaptation that will be an integral part of any individual law practice, the bar, the courts and law schools need to adapt their roles as well.

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June 14, 2018

ericka mcfeeJEP Attorney Ericka McFee Is a Pro Bono Champion

Congratulations to JEP attorney Ericka McFee for being named the 2018 American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) Pro Bono Champion for the Chicago Chapter!

Ericka is a member of the May 2017 cohort of the Justice Entrepreneurs Project. She concentrates her practice on immigration matters of all kinds, from employment and family based immigration to removal defense and asylum. Prior to launching McFee Law Offices, P.C. in 2016, she was an Associate Attorney at the Chicago office of Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen, and Loewy, LLP. She is an active member of the Chicago chapter of AILA, the Chicago Bar Association, and the DuPage County Bar Association. She also dedicates her time to volunteering at a variety of Chicago area non-profit organizations, including the National Immigrant Justice Center, Chicago Volunteer Legal Services, the AILA Pro Bono Project, CARPLS, the Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, World Relief DuPage/Aurora, and The Resurrection Project.

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June 5, 2018

jep logoCBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project Featured in ABA’s Law Practice Magazine

We are proud to share that the CBF Justice Entrepreneurs Project was featured in the latest issue of the ABA’s Law Practice Magazine. In Meeting the Needs of the Middle Market, JEP Director Trevor Clarke focuses on how the JEP has grown and evolved in recent years to meet its goals of expanding access to affordable legal help for low- and moderate-income people by helping lawyers establish innovative, sustainable firms serving that population. The article discusses innovations the JEP employs, and how it shares lessons and resources to be a model for other incubators nationwide.

Read the full article at Law Practice.

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May 23, 2018

rebecca eisnerInvesting in Justice Campaign Sets New Records, Makes More Than $2 Million in Grants and Support Possible

Tens of thousands of people in need will receive critical legal assistance thanks to more than 5,200 individual contributors at 153 participating firms, companies and organizations

The Chicago Bar Foundation is pleased to announce that more than 5,200 individuals contributed $1.55 million both records for the organization’s 2018 Investing in Justice Campaign. In the effort to raise awareness and much-needed funding for pro bono and legal aid services in the Chicago area, 153 law firms, corporate legal departments and other law-related organizations participated in this year’s Campaign. Chaired by Rebecca Eisner, the partner-in-charge of the Chicago office of Mayer Brown, the Investing in Justice Campaign each year engages thousands of individuals throughout Chicago’s legal community to come together and contribute generously to help ensure that everyone has access to necessary legal help.

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May 23, 2018

A Fool for a Client? Where Lawyers Matter Most

Part 2 of a 4-part series

What is it we do as lawyers that is essential? Startling advances in technology now enable people to do so many things on their own that previously required the help of others. But to achieve true access to justice, lawyers still play several indispensable roles that cannot be delegated to a technological solution.

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May 18, 2018

social innovations logoCBF Featured in Social Innovations Journal

The CBF is proud to be featured in the Social Innovations Journal’s most recent edition, Chicago’s Social Innovations, Social Enterprises, and Public Private Partnerships. We are humbled to be included among the many other innovative projects and programs, which together demonstrate how Chicago is a leading force in the international social impact and social policy movement.

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May 16, 2018

Illinois JusticeCorps Seeking Fellowship Applications

Illinois JusticeCorps is looking for applicants for full-time fellowship positions for the upcoming program year, August 2018 through August 2019.

Illinois JusticeCorps is an innovative AmeriCorps program through which college students and recent graduates provide procedural and other neutral assistance in the courts. Illinois JusticeCorps recruits, trains and provides the necessary support for these guides to make courts across Illinois more welcoming and less intimidating for people without lawyers.

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May 9, 2018

new jep classNew JEP Attorneys Begin Program, Pro Bono Residencies

The CBF’s Justice Entrepreneurs Project is excited to welcome the eleventh cohort of innovative and entrepreneurial attorneys into its growing network. Over the next eighteen months, these eight outstanding attorneys will build law practices focused on meeting the needs of the underserved middle market for legal services a client base that generally earns too much […]

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April 25, 2018

A Banned Words List for Access to Justice

Over the past couple of weeks, I have heard a heavier than usual dose of words and phrases that are common in the access to justice world but really need to go. As a result, this month I am taking a break from pontificating about the future to advocate for the start of a banned words list for our legal profession. Think of it like spring cleaning now that we are finally seeing spring around here.

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